U.S. Business Needs for Employees with International Expertise Ben L. Kedia Wang Center for International Business Education and Research The University of Memphis Shirley Daniel Center for International Business Education and Research The University of Hawaii
Previous Research International skills and education are important: • Nehrt (1977): Every manager should have some formal education and training in international business. • Hoffman and Gopinath (1994) conclude that CEOs perceive international issues as relevant to the success of their firms. • Moxon, O’Shea, Brown, & Escher (1997). Global awareness and cultural sensitivity are important international skills. • Webb, Mayer, Pioche and Allen (1999). Business students need international training.
Previous Research International skills and education are not so important : • Kobrin (1984). 72% of executives think international expertise is learned on the job. • Ball and McCulloch (1993). 78% of executives believe that their employees learn the international aspects of their business on the job. • Reynolds and Rice (1988). American managers care more about the technical skills of their employees than about their international skills. • Bikson and Law (1994). Cognitive and social skills and personal traits) are more important to business success than international skills.
Main Research Questions • Do US executives believe that international skills are important for the employees that they hire? If so, what types of international knowledge and skills are needed and at what level? • Do companies provide training programs to their employees that develop international skills, and if so, who are the main providers of such programs? • In what ways do executives think US business schools should improve with respect to their international business education programs?
Sample Firms - By Industry 42.3% 19.8% 3.6% 6.3% 2.7% 25.2%
Sample Firms - By Company Size 22.5% 4.5% 13.5% 54.4%
Percent of Employees Working in Positions Requiring International Knowledge or Expertise
Current Growth of International Activities Compared to Domestic Activities 39 27 34
Percent of Total Sales Revenue from International Business over Next 10 Years 63 18 19
Would Overall Business Increase if More International Expertise were Available on Staff? 13 65 22
How Did the Insufficient International Competence Affect the Firm? Ways in which Insufficient International Competence Affected Firms: Percentage of Respondents Missed marketing/ business opportunities 21% 4% Failed to recognize important shifts in host country policies toward foreign owned corporations Suffered from a bias toward a US point of view 15% Failed to anticipate the needs of int'l customers 13% Not fully capitalized on expertise available or tech advances occurring abroad 11%
Effect of 9-11 Yes 25% No 75%
Effect of Homeland Security Measures Yes 31% No 69%
Importance of International Expertise for Professional Staff and Line Management
Questions? Mahalo (Thank you)